As some of you know, once a year I like to pretend that the Saker blog is also some kind of wannabe Time Mag and I like to chose one (or several) “men” of the year. We are in December, so I am doing this again – this is a little silly, but still fun for me. But, before I begin, let me clearly state the following:
First, most importantly: no, this is *NOT* an endorsement of Tulsi Gabbard for the next Presidential election in 2020. Not. An. Endorsement. I promise!! Having made this caveat clear, let’s go for
The Saker “man” of the year: Tulsi Gabbard
In fact, I decided to chose Tulsi Gabbard not for what she might or might not do during the rest of the campaign or should she ever make it into the White House (which I find impossible to imagine). I decided to chose her for what she ALREADY did. What do I have in mind?
First, Tulsi Gabbard is the only currently running US politician who has never lost her focus and never stop repeating that imperial wars are bad and dangerous for the United States. Truly, there is no overstating the courage that took for her, especially considering the terminally out-of-touch-with-reality public discourse in the USA. In other words, Tusli Gabbard is the only candidate which appears to care for the lives and well-being of US servicemen. The rest of them don’t give a damn about people dying, US servicemen or those who defend their own land and who are murdered on a daily basis by the USA in a long list of “wars of choice” under the pretext of the “GWOT”.
Second, Tulsi Gabbard is also the only currently running US politician who never attacked Trump by using the “stolen election” or “Russian interference” canards. That also takes a HUGE amount of courage: while the Democratic Party is going out all in an absolutely sickening, revolting, self-evidently stupid and profoundly evil campaign of attacks not only against Donald Trump the President, but against the Presidency as an institution (which they are trying to emasculate and subordinate to the Necon-controlled US Congress), Tulsi Gabbard did not engage in such attacks. Not only that, she agreed to travel to Syria on Donald Tump’s request while the usual gang of rabid feminists were screaming “not my President!!” and demonstrating disguised as female genitalia. In sharp contrast to these nutcases, she had the courage to show these hysterical harpies what a truly smart, strong willed, yet unapologetically feminine woman can do to at least try to change the world for the better. She knew that her trip to Damascus to meet President Assad was a very politically dangerous thing to do, yet she did it, when requested by a Republican President. I profoundly admire that.
[Sidebar: I admire women, especially when they show far more courage than men. In Russia I think of Natalia Poklonskaia whom the Russian liberals hate with a burning passion, but who has shown much more courage and integrity than many Russian men, both as a Prosecutor in Crimea (men were terrified and would not accept the position) or since she became an outspoken Deputy in the State Duma (the only one to vote against the reactionary pension reform package the Russian government tried to sneak in during the summer). I also note that nowadays I see much more intelligence, courage, resilience and, above all, integrity from women than from men. It just seems that the 20th century has been terrible to men and their psychological health. Who knows, maybe we, men, collectively deserve feminism or the #metoo pandemic?…]
Third, I also admire Tulsi Gabbard simply for not breaking down under the ugly hate-campaign the liberal and democratic media has unleashed against her. Yes, Trump got it even worse, but she is #2 on the liberal hate list. When I read what the mainstream (putatively) “liberal” US press has to say about Gabbard, I can only imagine the kind of pressure the Neocons and their agents are putting on Gabbard behind the scenes.
That being said, I am acutely aware of her past failings and I already wrote about them here and here. Yes, she also did cave in to the pressure of the powerful US Homo-lobby. But, when comparing Tulsi Gabbard’s failings and past slips, she appears far, far more consistent, honorable and courageous than all the other US politicians. So please, if you want to flame her for her past, shall we say, “unethical compromises with the truth”, then name me one other US politician with possibly more courage! Okay, Ron Paul certainly, Dennis Kusinich maybe, Mike Gravel probably. Oh and Ralph Nader, of course. But none of them are running in 2020 so, again, let’s compare the comparable.
And then, finally, there is the “no, not all” argument. Every time somebody makes a sweeping statement about how bad this or that US politician is, we can still point out at Tulsi Gabbard and say “no, not all”. I think that this function of the proverbial “righteous person saving a city” fully applies to Tulsi Gabbard, at least until now. And while I still hope not to be disappointed by her, I am not holding my breath on this one: the evil system ruling over the United States has always either crushed, or discredited or even murdered anybody who would represent a danger to it and there is no doubt that Gabbard is a potential danger for the US ruling classes. Just see what she has to say about her own, Democratic, party!
Because, and let’s be honest here, on paper Tulsi Gabbard would be the “dream candidate” for the Democratic Party: she is a multi-level minority (female, brown, Hindu, islander) combined with rock-solid “patriotic credentials” (compare her record with, say, Dukakis riding around in a tank!). She also happens to be very smart, good looking (in a truly feminine way!) and very articulate. What’s there not to like? Peace of course! She does not want wars, which is all the Dems stand for nowadays… True, the Bible-belt will never forgive (or even understand) her Hinduism and you can bet on a lot of fire and brimstone hysterics coming from Bible-thumping preachers if she ever gets the Dem nomination. But that is close to impossible anyway, so why worry about this?
Would she make a good President? Well, at the very least she won’t be worse than what the US has had to endure since the Clintons came to the White House. But Saker “man” of the year? Yes, I think she does deserve this.
The runner up: Donald Trump
Okay, I think I have been very clear about my total disappointment with Donald Trump. In fact, my disappointment has now turned to outright disgust. And if you ask me to make a list of what I have against Trump, it would be a long one. And yet, we have to always keep things in perspective. The choice was Trump or Clinton. With Clinton we had “war for sure” (probably against Russia, starting with a suicidal attempt to impose US-run no-fly zone over Syria). With Trump our choice was “war maybe, but maybe not”. And the fact that the US *almost* had a war with the DPRK, with Iran, with Syria (and, possibly, Russia!) and against Venezuela. And, let’s be honest again, this still might happen. But at the time of writing (Dec 3rd) Trump did not authorize a war. He came close to it in Syria, but neither “almost” nor “close to” are equivalent to “did it”.
Truly, the issue of war and peace remains the single most important issue the world is facing today. Why? Because of an extraordinarily toxic and dangerous phenomenon: the willful ignorance by US decision makers of the reality of the multi-polar world being built jointly by Russia and China (with a great deal of support from many other key nations out there!). As Andrei Martyanov, Dmitry Orlov and myself have been ceaselessly repeating – if the USA enters a war with Russian and/or China, the US mainland will suffer devastating nuclear and even conventional strikes. Nothing compares to that disaster and, therefore, I submit that the vote for Trump was the only rational option.
And while Trump did betray many (most?) of his campaign promises, and while he showed himself to be a dishonorable, spineless, Neocon “bitch” (to use Gabbard’s words about Trump lending US troops to the KSA), he did deliver on his most important promise: no war (at least so far). That is absolutely huge and just for that only reason, I feel that he ought to be recognized (well, not him, but this one action of his, really) as the 2019 Saker Man of the Year runner-up.
That’s it. Now it’s your turn.
Please let us know what you think of my choice and whom you would have nominated.